At odds with county commissioners, Grand health director resigns |

At odds with county commissioners, Grand health director resigns

Grand County’s Health Director Brene Belew-LaDue announced her resignation effective Jan. 15, citing differences with the Board of Grand County Commissioners’ handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Tuesday, Belew-LaDue told commissioners she is choosing to prioritize her physical and mental health after a difficult year with little support from the county. She has been in the role for 17 years.

“I realized that my values and mission in life, and our public health mission, didn’t align with the goals of the current BOCC,” Belew-LaDue said. “Until recently, the BOCC has not favored the public health prevention method that we have supported.”

In announcing her resignation, Belew-LaDue read a prepared statement that included several quotes from county commissioners indicating their hesitancy to address the COVID-19 pandemic and increase support for public health while downplaying the importance of the department.

Commissioner Kris Manguso mentioned that she had seen personal attacks on Belew-LaDue, who has been targeted in comments from public officials as well.

Belew-LaDue also defended her department’s decisions throughout the pandemic as in-line with state and professional recommendations.

“The health of the community has always been my first priority,” she said. “This decision is difficult for me, especially during such a time of great need.”

Her resignation comes after commissioners voted last week to terminate County Manager Kate McIntire’s contract.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to include comments from Brene Belew-LaDue.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

The Sky-Hi News strives to deliver powerful stories that spark emotion and focus on the place we live.

Over the past year, contributions from readers like you helped to fund some of our most important reporting, including coverage of the East Troublesome Fire.

If you value local journalism, consider making a contribution to our newsroom in support of the work we do.